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Global photo tours to breathtaking lands led by expert photographers

Chile: Portraits of Patagonia (5 Days)

Chile: Portraits of Patagonia  (5 Days)

This photographic journey is led by professional photographer and author; Sergio Ballivian, offering a superb teaching and learning workshop.

It is specifically designed to photograph in the immediate landscapes adjacent to and within Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile…embracing the southern Andes Mountains where the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap is located.  Fjords, glaciers, steep, rugged mountains, dense forests and steppe meet here, bracing themselves from the famous winds of Patagonia…very close to the cold waters of the southern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The great variety of terrain, jaw-dropping vistas and stern climate makes this region a bit challenging, but with proper clothing, expert guides and well-designed logistics this tour is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities not to be missed!

 

There is a very good reason Torres del Paine is considered the 8th Wonder of the World!

 

The trip begins in Punta Arenas, Chile in the Magallanes region (just above sea level).  Connections from Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina are frequent, so getting here is easy.

Patagonia Camp is the first luxury camp in South America – located in a private reserve on the shores of Toro Lake, just south of the stunning peaks of Torres del Paine National Park.  With expansive views of Toro Lake and the granite horns of the Torres del Paine in the background, lovely Patagonia Camp was designed as a distinct, novel and charming location where the guests can enjoy the dazzling and wild nature of Chilean Patagonia.  The camp itself is very innovative, where every detail has been designed on purpose to provide our guests with the typical warm hospitality of southern Chile, while providing maximum comfort in a low-impact and 100% eco-friendly environment. Spread throughout a forest of native lengas and coigüe trees, Patagonia Camp has 20 private luxurious Mongolian-style yurts, every one facing the majestic Paine mountain range.  All yurts are equipped with king or twin beds, central heating, private bathrooms and a private outdoor terrace and hot-tub.   All yurts are finely decorated with Patagonian fabrics and furniture crafted by local artisans that provide a unique and unforgettable experience to the visitor.

Questions and requests?  please e-mail:  [email protected]

 

Your Photographic Leader:

Sergio Ballivian was born in La Paz, Bolivia and lived abroad in the US, Canada and Spain for almost 35 years, with addresses in Washington D.C. and Boulder, Colorado and in La Paz.  He graduated from Calvert high school in La Paz and studied in Sevilla Spain, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Dividing his time between the Andes and the Rocky Mountains, he continues pursuing adventures via 4×4, motorcycle, kayak or mountain bike.  He worked for 5 years in National Geographic in the photography department, supporting the photographers traveling around the world.  He started taking photos when he was 15 years old, falling in love with the medium to remember his adventures that continue to this day.  His love of adventure and exploration grows further (even after so many years) and every time he sees a place he does not know on a map.  He has traveled in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Chile and also to Nepal and New Zealand.  The love he has for his native land allows him to travel with clients for photography workshops, shooting documentaries and organizing expeditions.  He started doing private photo tours more than a decade ago and leads photographic trips throughout the year to all corners of Bolivia and Latin America.  His latest venture is to publish photography books.  Two recent books include; Altiplano – Where Earth and Sky Embrace (2016) and Madidi – An Uncertain Future (2017).  His 3rd book is about the Bolivian Andes to be published in late 2019. His photography of landscapes, animals and people sheds light on unique places that need urgent protection. His work can be seen at:  www.sergiophoto.com, www.sergiophototours.com and www.explorebolivia.com

Sergio will be accompanied by another guide and expert staff from Patagonia Camp during the whole tour, adding another level of expertise and knowledge so that your photographic journey will be un-matched in the region.

We will end our photographic journey on the 5th day at the Punta Arenas airport with a fond farewell and hoping our paths will cross again in the future.


 


 

Tour Dates: September 25-29, 2019 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Tour length: 5-days / 4-nights
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Group Size Limit: 10
Tour Highlights: Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Natales, Lago Toro, Mongolian Yurts, 5* service, ancient indigenous cultures, settlers of Patagonia, Andes Mountains, Southern Patagonian hospitality.
Prices are in $ US Dollars:
Double Base 4 nights: 1,690.00
Single Base 4 nights: 2,190.00
*International airfare is NOT included in the tour price.
**Tour begins in Punta Arenas airport or your hotel.
Deposit:$ 700.00/per person (non-refundable administrative fee)
Inclusions: As per the itinerary – luxury yurt accommodations, meals as noted (B,L,D), private transport, bi-lingual guides, airport transfers, decades of experience and local knowledge
Questions and requests?  please e-mail:  [email protected]

 


Anyone can book a single spot on any tour at any time. These prices reflect the cost for one or two people for 5 days/4 nights.  The minimum number of people required for this trip to run is 4.  We encourage you to include friends and family to join you…as Patagonia and Torres del Paine are truly one-of-a-kind destinations!


Please note: We can run this trip at any time from September to April, so please let us know your date preferences and we will create a custom departure date for you and your group (minimum of 4 people), dependent on room availability for your dates.



ITINERARY

Flights to Punta Arenas, Chile depart from most major cities in Latin America, usually routing via Santiago or Buenos Aires, and arrive at various times of the day.  Depending on your airline, you would arrive at different times on day 1 in Punta Arenas.  However, we would recommend you arrive one day earlier in Punta Arenas in case of flight delays due to weather. Please let us know your flight info so we can coordinate pick-ups and other services. International airfare is NOT included in this itinerary.  For airline tickets, please contact our ticketing agent GEO Travel 1-800-938-7285.

Questions and requests?  please e-mail:  [email protected]

Day 1 / Thursday / April 18, 2019:          Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales to Patagonia Camp

Today´s topic: recognizing our surroundings.

The tour begins with a private overland transfer from Punta Arenas airport (PUQ) to the town of Puerto Natales (PNT) (3 hrs).  En route, we will share with you a bit of the history of Patagonia, its native people, the early colonizers, the remote ranches and the times before tourism arrived in the region.  Upon arrival in Puerto Natales, you will learn some history of this remote settlement, ranchers, miners and fishermen, including visiting some monuments and nearby viewpoints along the coast.  You will visit Ultima Esperanza Fjord, to see the unique quality of light due to the proximity to the South Pole.  After a little over an hour, you will arrive in Patagonia Camp, where you will be greeted and briefed about the planned program for the next few days, covering technical and logistical details, including the weather so everyone is informed properly.  The location of Patagonia Camp is a stunning location on the shores of Lago Toro which you will be photographing on a constant basis!  Welcome dinner and overnight at Patagonia Camp (5*). (L,D)


 

Day 2 / Friday / April 19, 2019:        Grey Glacier Lookout Point

Today’s topic: The Intense Colors of Blue Ice

We begin with a buffet breakfast.  Soon thereafter we drive from Patagonia Camp to Gray Ranger Station: then hike along Pingo trail for about 1 hour, where it is possible to observe a great variety of native flora and fauna, an ideal opportunity to capture up-close images of this wilderness as well as the grand landscape. At an appointed time we will return and head towards Gray beach.  Our hike continues through a native forest where the Magellan woodpecker is found as well as the “cachaña” (native parrot) and various other native bird species.  As we come out of the forest we will see the majestic icebergs with their characteristic deep blue tones of the Gray Glacier floating on the water and stranded on the beach.  At the end of our walk along the peninsula, we will have a fantastic view of Gray Glacier and its immediate surroundings and learn how glaciers are formed. After a delicious box lunch we begin our return to our vehicle and return to Patagonia Camp in the afternoon.  During dinner we will have a special guest; a part of Gray Glacier in our cocktails.  Overnight at Patagonia Camp (5*). (B,L,D)


 

Day 3 / Saturday / April 20, 2019:        Fauna Trail: Walking between two park entrances

Today´s topics: Fauna, Pre-Historic Times & Indigenous People

We begin with a buffet breakfast.  We drive from Patagonia Camp to Sarmiento Ranger Station.  We begin a 3-hour trek of medium difficulty, where we can see the local flora like guanacos, rhea and gray fox (among others) in their native ecosystem.  This is the perfect setting to take pictures of wild animals at (hopefully) close distances.  This area is used by local pumas (mountain lions/cougar) as part of their varied hunting territory, so you may see remains of past hunts.  If luck is on our side, you may see a puma, the king of the Andes, watching us stealthily behind the bushes.  Later we see cave paintings dating back some 6,000-6,500 years old, a period before the Tehuelches were in the region.  It will be an interesting visual challenge to capture the life of the original inhabitants of the region as you capture images of their past communication.  Afterwards we will head to the Paine Waterfall, an ideal location to understand the hydrographic network of the Torres del Paine region.  A tripod will be necessary to do time-lapse photography of moving water.  We will have a delicious box lunch in the area, then return to our vehicle and arrive at Patagonia Camp in the late afternoon.  Dinner and overnight at Patagonia Camp (5*). (B,L,D)


 

Day 4 / Sunday / April 21, 2019:         Outing in the Forest: Native tree with autumn colors

Today´s topic: Visual textures

We begin with a buffet breakfast.  Today’s excursion will be weather-dependent.  We will either visit the Torres viewpoint or the forest near Patagonia Camp – both locations have what we need, objects with texture.  The idea is to find and learn how to photograph textures of the objects we find in our path, an important element in photographic composition.  Based on the texture, whether smooth or wrinkled, soft or rough, we can decide what kind of photograph we want to make.  In everyday life, texture is captured through the sense of touch, while in photography it’s captured through the point of sight and the angle of the light hitting the object.  To capture the texture of a photographic object is fundamental in order to envision it in real life.  Conversely trying to hide the texture, as in using shallow focus, allows us to transmit a surreal version of the object.  In the afternoon, we will meet in the Puma Room to review what photos were captured by each guest during the program, accompanied by a delicious cocktail.  Farewell dinner and overnight at Patagonia Camp (5*). (B,L,D)


 

Day 5 / Monday / April 22, 2019:         Patagonia Camp – Punta Arenas Airport

Your final buffet breakfast.  Today is the return day from the stunning landscapes of Torres del Paine and Patagonia Camp to Punta Arenas.  The drive is 3-hours and we will arrive at the airport in time for your flight back to Santiago or whatever destination is next.

– End of our services –

Questions and requests?  please e-mail:  [email protected]


NOTE: Due to weather conditions, excursions are subject to change without prior notice as well as the order of the excursions in the program . If any activity is cancelled it will be replaced by another one.



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.